An award-winning Ugandan creator who fled his nation after being charged with insulting President Yoweri Museveni has arrived in Germany together with this son to hunt medical remedy after being “tortured” in jail, in keeping with his lawyer.
Eron Kiiza, the lawyer for Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, expressed “an enormous aid” to the AFP information company on Wednesday, asserting his consumer’s arrival.
The novelist was jailed in December and later charged with “offensive communication” in a case that has raised worldwide concern.
The European Union was amongst these calling for a “complete investigation” into rights abuses in Uganda.
Rukirabashaija, 33, slipped out of Uganda two weeks in the past – after a courtroom denied his software to have his passport returned – forward of a legal trial that was because of start on Wednesday.
He mentioned he was tortured in custody and appeared on tv earlier this month to disclose painful-looking welts crisscrossing his again and scars on different components of his physique.
Rukirabashaija, who was launched on bail final month, fled Uganda by strolling into neighbouring Rwanda throughout the hilly border after which travelled to a 3rd nation.
Following that, the United Nations Refugee Company facilitated his journey to Germany, in keeping with Kiiza who declined to offer additional particulars.
The fees towards Rukirabashaija relate to unflattering feedback on Twitter about Museveni, who has dominated Uganda since 1986, and his highly effective son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
In a single submit, he described Kainerugaba, a basic who many Ugandans imagine is positioning himself to take over from his 77-year-old father, as “overweight” and a “curmudgeon”.
The novelist beforehand advised AFP that he deliberate to return dwelling after getting medical remedy.
“I’ve been recognized with broken kidneys, bruised ribs and post-traumatic stress dysfunction,” he mentioned in a cellphone interview from a secret location earlier this month.
He has described being overwhelmed with batons, pressured to bounce for hours at a time, attacked with pliers used to tear at his flesh and injected repeatedly with an unknown substance.
“I don’t know whether or not I used to be poisoned. I’m not feeling effective,” he mentioned.
Since he fled, Rukirabashaija has been tweeting relentlessly, even turning into embroiled in a Twitter spat with Kainerugaba whom he accused of being “in cost” of his torture and branding him a “child despot”.
Rights campaigners have referred to as for an investigation into his claims of torture and urged the authorities to drop all prices towards him.
“It’s insupportable that Ugandan safety forces are nonetheless torturing and ill-treating detainees,” Oryem Nyeko, Uganda researcher at Human Rights Watch, a worldwide rights group, mentioned in a press release earlier this month.
“As an alternative of prosecuting their critics over tweets, the Ugandan authorities ought to be investigating this and lots of different severe allegations of torture by state safety lately.”
Rukirabashaija advised the rights group that he was taken to see Kainerugaba throughout his detention and instructed to cease writing, however the basic denied the declare.
“I don’t know who this younger boy is whom they are saying was overwhelmed! I by no means heard of him till the media began speaking about him. I’ve by no means met him or talked to him and I’ve no need to take action,” Kainerugaba mentioned on Twitter.
Collection of crackdowns
Uganda has witnessed a collection of crackdowns geared toward stamping out dissent, with journalists attacked, legal professionals jailed, election screens prosecuted and opposition leaders violently muzzled.
Activists have been repeatedly focused utilizing the strict Pc Misuse Act which was used towards Rukirabashaija and which carries heavy penalties, together with jail time.
Outspoken Ugandan activist and author Stella Nyanzi, who fled to Germany earlier this 12 months, was imprisoned in 2019 below the identical legislation after posting a profane poem about Museveni.
Rukirabashaija received approval for his 2020 satirical novel, The Grasping Barbarian, which describes high-level corruption in a fictional nation.
He has been repeatedly arrested because the novel was printed and mentioned he was beforehand tortured whereas being interrogated by army intelligence.
He was awarded the 2021 PEN Pinter Prize for an Worldwide Author of Braveness, which is offered yearly to a author who has been persecuted for talking out about his beliefs, and PEN’s German department has campaigned in his help.